LaPorte Co. slammed with 9 inches of lake-effect snow

2013-11-12T18:11:00Z 2013-11-13T10:47:09Z LaPorte Co. slammed with 9 inches of lake-effect snowTimes Staff
November 12, 2013 6:11 pm  • 

Most of the region was spared the worst of the problems created by an early snowfall, but portions of LaPorte County have recorded as much as 9 inches of lake-effect snow and it isn't over yet.

The first snow of the season being so heavy came as a shock to many residents in LaPorte, which had more than 7 inches on the ground Tuesday morning.

“I don't like it. I think this belongs in the spring time. A spring freak snow, not in the fall, like this all at once,” said Susan Ebert, 54, of LaPorte.

According to the city of LaPorte's water department, just an inch of snow came down Monday from 3 p.m. to midnight.

However, by 8 a.m. Tuesday, 7.5 inches of the lake-effect powder were on the ground.

Tim Petersen, 29, who lives in the 1600 block of State Street, also was caught off guard by the heavy lake-effect snow because of the warm fall and many leaves still being on the trees.

“Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. I mean, nobody is ready for it,” said Petersen, who took occasional breaks in his shoveling due to exhaustion.

Near whiteout conditions were reported at times throughout much of LaPorte County.

The snow also meant numerous accidents mostly slide-offs from drivers, perhaps, not sharp enough yet in their winter driving skills.

Jim Sosinski, LaPorte County police chief deputy, said traffic was snarled for about two hours starting at 6 a.m. from closing one of the westbound lanes on U.S. 20 near Ind. 39 after a semi pulling two trailers was unable to get up a fairly steep grade.

Sosinski said the semi with help from a tow truck had to be pulled off the highway to reopen both westbound lanes.

By 10 a.m., snowplow drivers were getting a handle on clearing the roads made even slicker from the rain that fell before the snow then froze.

LaPorte County Highway Department Superintendent Bob Young said most of his plow drivers didn't miss a beat from last season but such a heavy first snowfall proved to be a test for his new drivers.

“It's hard to keep up with it at times when it comes down so heavy,” said Young.

Indiana State Police for the Toll Road reported whiteout conditions at 9 a.m. from Michigan City to the Michigan state line with numerous slide-off and spin-out accidents. No serious injuries were reported.

Area police reported only a handful of scattered problems on roadways elsewhere overnight and Tuesday morning from Chicago's south suburbs to Porter County.

Some school districts canceled classes Tuesday as a result of the weather, including the LaPorte Community School Corp. and Tri-Township Consolidated School Corp. in Wanatah and LaCrosse.

Lake and Jasper counties had reported up to a half an inch of snow by 9 a.m. Tuesday. and Newton County reported up to 1 inch. Chicago's south suburbs reported a trace to a quarter of an inch of snow.

Valparaiso recorded different totals in different areas of the city, with 1.8 inches reported by one weather spotter and 6.6 inches reported by another.

Times Correspondent Stan Maddux contributed to this report.

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